Recycling Mysteries: Batteries

battery recycling
Alkaline Magnesium batteries are found in everything from remote controls to cameras. Photo:

Alkaline Magnesium batteries are found in a lot of household items. Photo:

Alkaline Manganese Batteries

Where It's At: Alkaline batteries are used in everything from cameras and flashlights to remote controls.

What to Do: If you talk to your local solid waste department, you may be instructed to put alkaline batteries in with your regular trash. This is partly due to the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act passed in 1996 that phased out the use of mercury in alkaline batteries, making them less of an issue when disposed in landfills. But this doesn't mean alkalines are not recyclable.

If you're unable to find a local recycling option, you can consider mail-in recycling programs. They are also accepted for recycling at all Batteries Plus locations.

If you do decide to put alkaline batteries in the trash, as in most cases this is legal, you can take extra steps to prevent leaking such as:

  1. Putting multiple batteries in the same plastic bag
  2. Securing the ends of each battery with masking tape

End Result: Recycling these batteries can recover steel and zinc, two valuable metals. In the case of steel, it can be reprocessed into rebar.

Continue Reading: Ni-Cd Batteries

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